Master's Admissions

Before you apply

We receive many questions about what distinctive qualities make applicants stand out. Here are a few pointers you should read as you prepare your application.

General Guidance

Before you begin, make sure you have read over all the application directions for your specific program.

The Master of Science (MS) and Master of Engineering (MEng) applications are slightly different, operate on different deadlines, and are managed by separate offices at Duke. You may apply to both programs, but if you plan on doing so, you should first contact Master's Admissions for more detailed instructions.

Your Statement of Purpose (MS only)

Our primary intent with the Statement of Purpose is for you to show evidence in your application that you:

  1. Understand exactly why you want to pursue a graduate degree
  2. Articulate a clear career trajectory within which Duke MEMS is a key element to your success and recognize the important resources on our campus that would support your vision
  3. Celebrate and exhibit the same community qualities and standards that make our institution unique, and would consider yourself a positive contributor to our community of inclusivity
  4. Have a long track-record of cocurricular and extracurricular involvement

Short Answer Essays (MEng only)

Our Short Answer Essay questions are seeking much of the same information as the Statement of Purpose, but in a more specific and concentrated form.

  1. What was the most complicated thing you’ve ever designed/built, either physical or virtual?  Please include describe it here and include a link to an online portfolio of your work or a well-labeled graphic as part of the response.
  2. What do you feel are important engineering problems for you to solve? Why?
  3. What is your definition of personal success?  How do you think Duke’s program can help you on the path to success as you define it?

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of reference are a critical part of your application materials.  We require three (3) letters from people who know you well. We have found that letters are strongest from people who can talk about:

  1. Your abilities to think and work independently and creatively
  2. That you are self-motivated and mature in your professional accomplishments, as much as in your personal ones
  3. Your response to criticism and adversity, and your resilience when pursuing goals

Video Essay

This uncommon element of our application has been a "make-or-break" addition for so many students.

Students who were borderline applicants have proven themselves during this essay while others who were seemingly stellar showed us they were not quite ready for Duke. We want you to show us who you are (both professonally and personally) and that you can clearly deliver a compelling series of narratives that answer our prompts.

Your preparation is critical when you record your essay:

  • Do not read from a script, but engage us in a manner that is natural to you
  • Think about how you present yourself and be mindful of your words, body language, and surroundings

You do not have to submit a video that was recorded in just one take.

Merit transcends academic achievement


Apply Online

  Master of Science
(MS)
Master of Engineering
(MEng)
Application Details MS Instructions
MS Deadlines
MS Review Process

MEng Requirements
MEng Deadlines

Application Accepted Fall and Spring Fall and Spring
Application Link Apply to MS Apply to MEng

For International Students

  Master of Science
(MS)
Master of Engineering
(MEng)
Additional Application Fee for International Students? No No
Financial Support Documentation Required at Time of Application? No No
Minimum TOEFL Score Paper: 577
Internet: 90
No minimum
Minimum IELTS Score 7.0 Not accepted
TOEFL/IELTS Waivers Available? Yes »  Yes »

More for international students at Duke


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